By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #32 ~
Wars – earthquakes – plagues – famines – economic crisis – lawlessness – global unrest – nations realigning – false Christs – false prophets – apostasy – betrayal – Jewish temple desolated – Antichrist ruling the world – mark of the beast – great tribulation – persecution – martyrdom – pseudo peace – world evangelization – signs in the heavens.
In the years ahead all these things will be taking place in our world, leading up to the end of this age and the return of Christ. In His Word, God has specifically talked about these things because He doesn’t want you to speculate, be in the dark, or be in error by listening to someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. In view of this, I encourage you to read Daniel 7:15-28, Matthew 24:3-41, Mark 13:3-32, Luke 21:7-36, 1-2 Thessalonians, and Revelation 6 and 13, for they clearly spell out God’s plans for the future.
In Mark 13:23 Jesus says, “Be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” The Lord didn’t have to tell you about these end time events – He could have let it all be a complete surprise. But He told you in advance because He wants you to know what will be taking place. And should you not then want to know what He wants you to know? But not only does He want you to know what will be happening, but He wants you to be watching and working, and looking forward to seeing His Son, and your Savior.
Of course, God didn’t tell us every single thing that’s going to occur, but He told us every single thing we need to know about the climactic last years of this evil age. The God of this universe, and hopefully your heavenly Father, doesn’t want you wondering what will be happening, or caught off guard and fearful when calamitous and earthshaking events do occur. He wants you wide awake, clearly understanding His prophetic word, and fully aware of predicted events as they come to pass in the world. “The men of Issachar understood the times, and knew what they should do.” 1 Chronicles 11:32
Now some believe that the people, events and things on this earth are just random and evolving, but that is so not true. Since eternity past, the Creator of this universe has planned out your life and the course of this world. And yes, you’re responsible for your actions, but yet in a way you can’t completely understand, God is sovereign over your life, and over this entire world. God knows exactly what He’s doing and exactly what He’s going to do, and there’s nothing that will stop Him from carrying out all His plans for this planet earth. Everything has been made by God for His purposes and glory, and He is wisely orchestrating all the people and events on this world, leading up to that one point in time when He sends His Son back to this earth. Daniel 4:34-35, Ephesians 1:9-12
But where are we at now, and where are we going? Think about taking a trip – you have a map, smart phone or GPS, and you know your location, you know your destination, and you know the roads you need to take and the turns you need to make to get to where you want to go. And as Christians, it’s God’s prophetic word that’s our map, and a perfect map it is for our time, for these years leading up to the return of Christ to this earth. And in my opinion, Matthew 24 is the single most important part of this map, for it’s a simple summation of the sequence, the chronology of end time events.
And so where are we at? Since the Jews have gathered back to Israel, then we know we live in the end times, which is that period of time leading up to the return of Christ. And now we’re experiencing “birth pains”, which means we’re in the beginning stage of the end times. We have a little ways to go then before the appearing of Christ. There need to be more wars and earthquakes, a peace treaty needs to be signed, the temple needs to be built, the Antichrist needs to come, and yes, Christians will go through great tribulation in that time right before Christ comes to take them home. Matthew 24:4-8
But how are you to live? Christ says you are to “do business until I come back”, “to make disciples of all the nations”, and to be “encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Be excited and tell others what will be taking place, and look forward to the “day of Christ”, for it won’t be long before He’ll return to take up the saints, take out the enemy and take over the world. “Behold, I am coming soon.”
P.S. Next week we will begin to specifically and carefully look at the above mentioned prophesied events that need to take place before the return of Christ and the rapture of the church.
P.P.S. In view of Hurricane Harvey, I encourage you to read Job 37, the best weather chapter in the Bible. The last verse is most instructive – “Therefore men fear Him.”